NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group One (SNMCMG1) have completed their participation in Exercise NORTHERN COASTS 2015 on Sept. 29.
Surface ships, a submarine, and several air assets from 16 different nations successfully completed the German-led Exercise NOCO 15. Participants stated that the exercise was an outstanding and demanding training opportunity, where NATO, Partnership for Peace and European Union units trained in a complex and well developed scenario consisting of a large spectrum of maritime warfighting areas. The exercise focused on maritime capabilities in support of stabilization operations, conflict prevention and crisis management.
During the first week, NATO units trained in air defence against missile attacks simulated by jets, fighter bomber attacks and asymmetric attacks from the air. Surface units were engaged in multi-target exercises, with live firing on air and surface targets. Practice in anti-submarine warfare tactics, boarding operations, advanced seamanship skills, replenishment at sea, and towing manoeuvres were also performed.
During the second phase of NOCO 15, SNMCMG1 was tasked to conduct timed mine hunting operations in areas where practice mines of different sorts were laid. This operation was conducted under simulated air, sea and asymmetric threats. SNMG1, with the help of additional surface combatants, provided effective protection for SNMCMG1, who successfully completed the assigned mine hunting task. During this phase, SNMG1 also disrupted simulated piracy attacks and smuggling activities involving commercial shipping.